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Follow the Celtic Explorer online

The Marine Institute is chartering the RV Celtic Explorer from the Irish Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland.


By Darcy MacRae

The Marine Institute (MI) is only a week away from welcoming the RV Celtic Explorer, the province’s first ever fisheries science and oceanographic research vessel, to St. John’s harbour.

The Marine Institute is chartering the RV Celtic Explorer from the Irish Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland, for research that will be conducted by MI’s new Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER). The vessel left Galway Jan. 29 and is expected to arrive in St. John’s on Feb. 8. The vessel’s crew will immediately load the RV Celtic Explorer with the necessary equipment before departing to conduct overwintering cod surveys until early March.

Those interested in following the vessel as it makes its way across the North Atlantic to Newfoundland and Labrador can monitor the RV Celtic Explorer’s progress at

The online blog provides daily information about the trip from Galway to St. John’s, such as the crew’s onboard activities, weather, sea state and the vessel’s location. The blog also includes pictures and background information on the Celtic Explorer’s current mission to St. John’s.

The research led by CFER is expected to result in a better understanding of fish stocks and the status of Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine ecosystem. The research will significantly add to the existing knowledge about the province’s marine fisheries ecosystems while supporting the development of sustainable and profitable fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The provincial government helped launch CFER in July 2010 by providing the Marine Institute with $11.75 million to establish the center. This includes $6.5 million toward the human resources and operating costs of the center over the next five years and $5.25 million for the chartering of large research vessels for offshore research. The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) also contributed $1.5 million to the centre.